Northwestern Memorial Hospital Named Level 2 Center of Excellence Designation by Huntington Disease Society of America

Northwestern Medicine
Neurosciences March 15, 2018
Northwestern Medicine Huntington’s Disease Clinic recently was awarded a level 2 Center of Excellence designation by Huntington’s disease Society of America (HDSA), the premier nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those affected by Huntington’s Disease. Northwestern Memorial Hospital is only one of two centers in Illinois and 43 centers nationwide to receive this prestigious designation. 

“We are honored to be granted a level 2 Huntington Disease Center of Excellence designation by HDSA and even more ecstatic that we were able to reach this goal in a short period of time,” said Danny Bega, MD, neurologist and clinical director of the Huntington’s disease clinic at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. “Since forming our dedicated Huntington’s disease clinic in 2015, we have been able to provide high quality multi-disciplinary care, education, and research to patients and families affected by Huntington’s disease. Additionally, we look forward to participating in leading edge research that might one day cure the neurodegenerative condition.” 

As an HDSA Center of Excellence, Northwestern Memorial provides a multidisciplinary approach to the care and support provided to patients with Huntington’s disease and their families. In addition, Northwestern Memorial conducts important research and testing for gene mutations. Level 2 Centers offer comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic services and have active clinical research programs specific to new HD treatments. Patients cared for by Northwestern Memorial have access to a wide-range of care provided by neurologists, neuropsychiatrists, therapists, genetic counselor and other providers in one, convenient location. 

Educational opportunities are also available to Huntington disease patients including monthly support groups for “at risk” patients and an annual Huntington disease symposium for patients and caregivers.

Northwestern Medicine Huntington’s Disease Clinic physicians participate in a national organization of investigators called the Huntington Study Group, which evaluates new experimental approaches to the treatment of Huntington’s disease. 

The 2018 HDSA Centers of Excellence program expanded to 43 Centers from 41 last year. Since 2015 the program has grown from just 20 Centers – a 115 percent increase in four years. The HDSA Centers of Excellence are multidisciplinary care teams with expertise in Huntington’s disease that share an exemplary commitment to bringing comprehensive care. 
The Huntington disease clinic at Northwestern Memorial launched in May of 2015 and is supported by Dimitri Krainc, MD, PhD, Aaron Montgomery Ward Professor and chair of The Ken & Ruth Davee Department of Neurology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Krainc has helped to lead the department in finding key molecular pathways which would help to develop therapies for Huntington’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.

The multidisciplinary clinic, dedicated to research and comprehensive treatment for patients battling Huntington’s disease, provides a collaboration of specialists including neurologists, neuropsychiatrists, neuropsychologists, genetic counselor and social workers, as well as neurology nurses and a rehabilitation therapy team. 

Northwestern Memorial also offers the only “at risk,” or “presymptomatic” support group in the area for people with a family history of Huntington’s disease. Learn more here.
For more information on the Northwestern Medicine Huntington’s disease clinic, click here. To make an appointment, please call 312.695.7950.